Why The Future Looks Good/The University Fights Back


Tashi Delek and Namaste from Nepal! I hope you are happy, healthy, and that your neighborhood is free of zombies. The following short piece is an excerpt from the Costa Rica section of the new book, and is dedicated to Zak Aldridge, Amelia Perkins, Leah Ashton-Facin and all the other young people that are busily pounding the dents out of our damaged humanity. Thank you for giving this jaded geezer hope for the future.
Have an enjoyable ascent back into the daylight, everyone. Fearless Puppy /// Doug Ten Rose

Why The Future Looks Good/The University Fights Back
There are young folks around the world, including those here in Costa Rica, who are rejecting fear to embrace love, life, and celebration. Sadly, there is no reason to think that they won’t eventually follow the lead of generations before them by selling their birthright for material trinkets, a false sense of security, and conditioned reflex responses to everything. History often turns out to be more shit than poetry, doesn’t it?
I have faith in them anyway. I have to. It is faith in the young that keeps so many otherwise skeptical old bastards like myself alive and personable. Without it, a lot more of us would be in bell towers with rifles.
I had the privilege of meeting some of these up-and-comers on “The Street of Bitterness.” My landlady and several others referred to one of the University’s bordering streets by this unusual name. I went to a bar on that street looking for intelligence, and found it in a group of students that were stoned, drunk, laughing, and groping each other before noon.
Alfonso was a nineteen-year old soccer scholarship student at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). He owned an abundance of common sense, a strong sense of the cosmic, and an even stronger ability to have fun. “University life itself is the actual crucifixion. Where we are drinking is called the Street of Bitterness, named after the Stations of the Cross. This street has been called that for as long as anyone can remember. The system crucifies our creativity with regressive, conservative attitudes. The good parts of an institutional education are often overshadowed by the indoctrination and obedience-training aspects of it. We come to the bars on this street and drink in order to reverse the direction of the steps that lead up to that crucifixion. We wash away the brain washing with alcohol, to sort of rewind as well as unwind from both the process and the results.”
I asked whether he thought the university’s overall climate felt progressive or reactionary. Alfonso replied, “Both! The administration is more on the side of big business, but the student body itself is much more progressive. The problem for us is that the progressive students are always spread too thin. There are so many protests! There are so many meaningful concerns that a lot of the students become too burnt out to get involved in yet another issue—even when the most urgent ones arise. We sort of get ourselves too watered down, and must somehow learn to be more selective about where we put our energies.”
What an amazing insight for a nineteen year old to have! It would be very nice to be able to think that this guy was an average college student. I had, after all, randomly chosen to speak with him and his friends. The only real qualifications for being approached by me were that the group was close to campus and publicly buzzed before noon. But these people, and especially Alfie, were unusual. He had already spent several months on a full soccer scholarship at the University of Florida, but decided that the benefits weren’t worth living away from his beloved Costa Rica.
This large sign covers the entire front window of one of the most popular among many pizza places on this beautifully infamous street.
“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a family. Choose a big fucking television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose Jesus and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching some mind numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food in your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your miserable last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the few selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.”
I may complain about the rain in Costa Rica, but never about the Costa Rican sense of humor. This is some very bright darkness from a neighborhood whose average resident is twenty years old!
To me the University of Costa Rica is the capital of this nation. Of course, my little opinion is gleaned from one day of bar hopping off campus. A full four years of matriculation might change that point of view.
Alfonso kept pumping out intelligence that any elder would consider well out of the normal range of a drunken teenager.
“There is a broad difference between social classes here, more so than in America where there is a lot more of a middle class. I am kind of in the middle here. It is a rare situation. I can have friends that are very rich and others that are very poor. This gives me more opportunities to grow and learn. I have a great deal of freedom in many ways. I drink on this street, then work doing research for a law firm for a few hours, then classes, and then study. I work very hard but still feel very lucky—and I have a lot of fun.”
“So many people want to change the world, but a sad lack-of-power feeling frustrates them. I think I have to just be nice and be as much an example as I can of what a better world would be. Nobody changes the world—not directly. We can only change ourselves. In doing that, well, that is how we change the world. These people who think they will change the violence in the world with violent means are fucked up! That is just a way to become what you hate! The only way to change the violence is to change everything you do in your own life to being as non-violent as possible in every aspect and situation.”
These were privileged kids who were using their privilege well. They all loved being where they were. They all loved doing what they were doing. Each had a sense of social responsibility and was very grateful for their opportunities.
I highly recommend a visit to the nearest campus bar for every older person. You may meet some shallow, vain youngsters consumed with unenlightened self-interest—but if you are lucky, you will get to meet people like Arturo, Alfonso, Vivianna, and Andrea. If not, maybe you should try another bar or another campus. It is worth a few-drink investment to find these people. Parts of the conversation may seem a bit laughable, but there is enough genius, hope, decency, and love of life present to encourage any elder. Even the most ornery of jaded old geezers that has been beaten from one end of this massive world’s most bitter streets to the other can appreciate the glow of unmolested hope.
You can trust me on that.

Solving Darkness

Happy Solstice! Let’s hope that as more and more light comes into each day for the next half year, more solutions than mishaps come to light as well. Knowing how to repel darkness helps a lot too!
This is a short excerpt from Ejection Eddie, a ten page chapter in the book Fearless Puppy on American Road. In it, Eddie gets ejected from several places that humans are usually never thrown out of, including the US Army draft board during the Vietnam era, a secured lock-up ward in a psychiatric hospital, and a jail.
BEGINNING OF CHAPTER
Certain hitchhiking rides have delivered me to realizations as well as physical destinations. Ejection Eddie was one of these.
“Welcome to my vehicle. I’m Ejection Eddie. Who are you?”
I felt a funny punch line coming on, but it didn’t seem smart to joke around with a guy who called himself “Ejection” until I knew why he did so.
I got right to it. “Everyone calls me Ten, but that’s obviously not the name on the birth certificate. Your mom didn’t pick the name Ejection for you, did she? Do they call you that because you have one of those James Bond car seats that ejects passengers?”
Ed answered with a pleasant smile and friendly tone. “Indeed not, my friend. There has never yet been a need to eject anyone from this vehicle—and judging by your relatively pleasant demeanor, my streak of uninterrupted hospitality won’t have to end here. However, my mom did have something to do with both parts of my name. Of course, she was directly responsible for the Eddie part. She was also indirectly responsible for the first of my no doubt record-breaking streak of ejections, from which the Ejection part of my name was born. She put me into a mental hospital at the tender age of seventeen because I smoked pot. The hospital eventually threw me out. I have, in total, been ejected from two mental institutions, the U.S. Army draft board during the height of the Vietnam War, a jail, and several lesser venues that ordinarily pride themselves on maintaining long term possessive relationships with their clientele.”
ENDING OF THE CHAPTER
The nurse said that she would give my note to the newspapers. Whether she ever did is questionable. Armed guards brought me back to the jail. They deposited me in my own special isolation cell, probably figuring that my next move could be to incite a riot. Within a few hours of my return, the head of the whole county’s jail industry/system came to my private digs. At her request, the guards left us alone in the cell.
She got right to the point. “You’re making a lot of noise for just one guy. What’s going on?”
She got the full Eddie account of the problems I had witnessed in her facility, including my little personal problem of being locked up for seven days without access to a lawyer. A lawyer seemed necessary to repair the nonsense responsible for my being in this hellhole. She listened.
“I’ll see what I can find out,” she said as she left.
Forty minutes later, guards came to my cell and escorted me to the front desk. They advised me that I was free to go.
I asked if they were toying with me. “Hitchhiking is still my only way out of here. Are we going to have to go through all this again down the road?” I asked. Hey, you never know what these guys could be setting you up for.
The guard answered with such a seriously apologetic tone that he couldn’t have been lying. “All police personnel have been notified about your case, sir. You can, within the legal limits, go to wherever you want to go, using whatever means you want to use to get there, and do whatever you want to do within this county. We’re not going to bother you again, sir.”
I smiled. “Thanks, brother.”
The guard looked up and smiled back at me. He seemed touched by the fact that after all that had happened, perhaps the most difficult prisoner of his career would be calling him brother.
He spoke to me in a gentle tone. “I am going to think about some of the things you said while you were here. A lot of it was right, I think.” The guard returned my shoelaces and belt as he offered his free hand for me to shake.
I shook his hand. “Thank Bobby Sands, my friend. He’s the one who gave me the hunger strike idea.”
“Who’s Bobby Sands? We don’t have any Bobby Sands locked up in here. Where’s he from?” asked the puzzled guard.
As he opened the last set of doors between the jail and my freedom, the guard promised to read up on the man considered a saint by many Irish folks (although he is certainly not as popular with others).
About a hundred yards after my release, a police car pulled over. From its open window, the officer asked, “Which way are you going, Ed?”
“Headed into town, officer. Same place as eight days ago.” The officer nodded. “Hop in. You’ve got a ride.” And that, my friend, is the story of how Ejection Eddie got thrown out of the military draft, two mental hospitals, and a jail—and how he earned his name.
I was struck by his stories and told him so. “Ed, no one I’ve ever met has even gotten into that much trouble, much less been able to get out of it!”
Ejection Eddie’s simple response impressed me as much as his stories had. “It’s not magic, buddy. Of course, you have to keep your eyes open for life’s little snares. You can avoid most trouble just by doing that! But sometimes a situation can blindside you, even when you have had your eyes open! Like a moth caught on the edge of a spider web, you have to keep flapping those wings until you escape. You can’t panic—and you definitely can’t get discouraged and give up. If you rationally, energetically, and consistently (but patiently) keep moving toward your freedom, you can escape from almost any trap. Creative confidence and dogged perseverance can make you free. Lack of faith in your own ability, surrender of your will power to another, or panic replacing logic and common sense will make you into a spider’s lunch.”
Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He is the author of the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account. Ten Rose and his work are a vibrant part of the present and future as well as an essential remnant of a vanishing breed.

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead
Our truth, happiness, practicality, and objectivity all suffer from ancient dogma as well as modern advertising. Behavioral codes that are no longer relevant and fairy tales that never were have been deeply rooted within our psyches since we were too young to own the logic that would dismiss them.
Much of what we’ve been told all our lives is bullshit. It is part of a very old formula devised by a few greedy, arrogant pricks a long time ago in order to keep the majority of humans submissive, productive, and under control. History and morality have both been bent to support the purpose and reflect the ego of tyrants. For example: Lincoln didn’t start the civil war to free the slaves, Columbus did not “discover” America or prove the world round, there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, greed kills more people than cancer, no brand of cologne will get you laid, there are better solutions than war to almost any disagreement, targeting civilians instead of soldiers is always inexcusable, no sin is original, no one can “give you” the freedom that you were born with, no God is on your side any more than he would be on any other side, and Earth doesn’t need us—not as stewards or anything else—we need Earth to survive.
Neither John Wayne, The Buddha, Allah, nor Jesus is going to ride in on a white horse at the last minute and save us from all the dumb shit we’ve done. Sex is not a sin but overpopulation is. You don’t need most of the shit you own and you certainly don’t need any more. JFK was not killed by Oswald. Violence never works in the long run. Gentle kindness and compassion are not just for the weak—and actually can only be mustered by the very strong. There is no (external) boogieman. You are in total control of your own responses to every situation whether you know it or not, and whether you exercise that control or surrender it—and this is the only thing you are in total control of. Hope and prayer are insufficient substitutes for constructive and appropriate action. Culture controls your children more than you do. Our education system is not an education system. White folks started the tradition of scalping Indians—not the other way around. Praising Jesus and supporting war or racism is a more obvious sign of schizophrenic hypocrisy than painting walls with your own shit. What are depicted as wart-covered witches stirring cauldrons were actually beautiful female herbal healers in pre-Christian matriarchal European tribal culture. Most of what we call food shouldn’t be touched without gloves, much less eaten. The number of people dying from treatment by doctors pushing “properly prescribed medication” is fast approaching the number of people dying of diseases. Much bigger criminals than those incarcerated are making major money from the prison industry. Odds are that he who dies with the most toys is probably a shallow scumbag rather than a “winner.” All wars are economic at their root, no matter how well they are disguised as moral or religious. Ego does not need to be destroyed but transcended. Most of what we think is real, simply is not.
If we do not wake up to the fact that we, and only we ourselves, are both the monster under the bed and the angel flying over the headboard; if we don’t take action as a unified force of humanity that is based on the equanimity of its members; if we don’t start withholding our cooperation and compliance, whether willful or unwitting, from the systems that we know are a detriment to both nature and people, we are very surely and profoundly fucked.
On the bright side, human potential is unlimited. We certainly have the ability to jack up the more beautiful houses we’ve built, move these off the collapsing foundations of nonsense that so many of them currently teeter on, and reset them on solid ground. Got tools? Fearless Puppy On American Road can help. Have a nice day!
MORE PARTING THOUGHTS FROM THE LAUGHING DEAD
1–Most of the trouble we occupy our minds with simply does not exist. No one can possibly overcome that which does not exist! Sure there’s a lot of bad shit in the world, but most of the things we stress about on a daily basis just simply aren’t there in present-tense real life. These horror movies we keep creating in our minds are not facilitating happiness. You can’t control the world, but you can train your mind well enough so that you are comfortable in it. Sane, practical, happiness will substitute very nicely for stewing over what some asshole at the office did, wanting to cry because your so-called leaders are substandard humans, being hurt by an intentional or even unintentional insult, or giving yourself an ulcer reliving past betrayals and fearing future sufferings.
2–Human hearts and minds are what improves human culture–not the other way around. Our culture has been driven to the demented state it now occupies by the less agreeable facets of demented human hearts and minds. It is only when vast numbers of individuals change them selves, as individuals, that the culture has any chance of changing itself as a culture. Even from a selfish point of view, it makes sense to train your mind! There are so many things in the world that are out of our control. Possibly the only thing that is actually within our own individual control is the way we each experience our own life.  Whether you are getting stabbed or kissed, only you get to decide whether to smile or cry about it–to be  happy because of or in spite of the circumstances. Add to all this the painfully obvious evidence that constantly fixing things on the outside while rarely attending to the inside just doesn’t work. We have almost “fixed” the planet into extinction. Humanity’s only hope of survival lies in the individual mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts that its members invest on their own behalf, as well as on the behalf of others.

Short But Sweet

Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung
Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung are my best friends in the Temple. He is a Monk student. She is a Nun’s assistant and lay disciple. That means she does all the things a Nun student would do but is not planning to actually become one. Neither Mee nor Kumnung drink alcohol, have sex, eat after noon, or partake in many of the things that most of us would consider daily habits, pleasures, or even necessities. They are both happy.
They are like parents, a brother and sister, and friends to me. They help me with my language handicap and never call me “farang.” We eat together and breathe together. When one of us leaves the Temple grounds, we miss each other. I go out from the Temple grounds often. They rarely leave at all. In spite of my financial destitution, I always share tobacco with Mr. Mee and make special efforts to get sweets for Ms. Kumnung. She smiles when I come back from town, whether I’m carrying sweets for her or not. I would miss a hundred meals just to see that smile once.
Mr. Mee is the James Brown of our Temple home. Just like the late, great “hardest working man in show business,” he is constantly making an effort. With tools that would be considered more of a liability than an asset in the Western world, he gets everything done. Raking, hoeing, planting, painting, studying, and cleaning—he does it all and more. There is no lawn mower here. He mows the large lawn with a scythe and scissors.
Neither of these people ever complains about anything although more often than not there are no sweets, and some days we have no money for rolling papers. Mr. Mee and I often make our cigarettes from shreds of calendar paper and donated tobacco.
Mee and Kumnung always try to understand me. This takes all their patience, but they somehow never run out of it. There is very little I wouldn’t do for them and it seems they each feel the same way toward me.
Mr. Mee has enough scars on his arm from heroin addiction to have scared the shit out of Kurt Cobain and Lenny Bruce.
Ms. Kumnung has both heart and lung malfunctions. She takes more prescription medication than any nursing home resident I’ve ever met.
Mee and Kumnung are married. They shared the same bed for eight years before coming to the Temple to sleep apart.
I guess they think things are better this way.
FROM THE BOOK REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE “Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a true-story travel adventure book about rural Asian Buddhist Monks and Nuns adopting a very troubled soul from Brooklyn, New York. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this crazy true story! The main character’s life runs through death into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a bar stool in the temple with him. For simplified street explanations of complex Buddhist thought, and an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity, buy and read Reincarnation Through Common Sense.” https://www.amazon.com/Reincarnation-Through-Common-Sense-Doug/dp/0692019529

I Start From Here (1st chpt. new book!)

Many folks tell me that I am the happiest person they’ve ever met. I’ve had a nightmare childhood, several chronic disabling problems, and a couple of terminal illnesses—so the doctors told me. But at least three of the doctors who told me I’d be dead by now have died themselves. Others have just been flat-out wrong with their diagnoses, prescriptions, and predictions. It just goes to show you that a formal education isn’t always the most important thing.
Back when medicine was a profession instead of an industry, I may have believed those doctors. I may have been more polite and died out of respect for them. Experience has taught me that polite and compliant aren’t always the right course of action.
But nearly fifty years later, now that half of our American doctors have shown a diseased integrity that only used car salesman and high-level politicians were previously famous for, I usually don’t show up at their doors at all. Better results have come from taking care of myself.
But I recently made a mistake on this account and did a long-term medication given me by a Naturopath who didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. It resulted in what looked to be a fatal aggravation to an already problematic liver. Two doctors said I had liver cancer. The “specialist” said I had six months to live. That was in October of 2018. Do the math.
After half a year or more of heavy meditation, highly focused breathing, Rick Simpson oil, apricot seeds (laetrile/B17), Chaga mushrooms, steam rooms and hot tubs, high potency Milk Thistle, lots of vitamins, herbs, raw juices, and of course dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes, I’m still here and having fun. Vampire pimps for the pharmaceutical industry didn’t put this smile on my face. I’m not going to let them take it off. I thank The Universal Whatever for these natural remedies.
It’s not that I completely distrust medical personnel and their methods. There are some good doctors and many great nurses. Several close friends are nurses. I am very grateful for their kindness. Doctors deal with diseases. Nurses deal with people. A nurse can sometimes help fix what a doctor screws up.
All that being said, and conquered diseases notwithstanding, I still must admit to being an old man. If you have read Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, you know that my aging bones have a lot of hard miles on them. Logic dictates that I be put out to pasture to enjoy the better memories. But if you have read those books, you also know that the out-to-pasture thing is not going to happen.
I’m going to make a voyage completely around the world. Everyone tells me that no one my age, especially no one with a rapidly disintegrating skeletal structure and a diagnosed terminal illness, should make such a journey. But we all have to die sooner or later, and I have a mission to accomplish before I do.
Several friends who have been abroad lately tell me that there is no place else on Earth as morally bankrupt, lacking integrity, crumbling apart from the inside, and as intimidating and repulsive to its neighbors as America. There is plenty of evidence to support their claims, but I still don’t like to believe them. I have to go see for myself. If it is true that no place sucks quite as badly as America does, I want to find out why. What are other places doing that we would benefit from doing ourselves? And more importantly, why are we not doing those things? What things are the other places doing that don’t work for them? Why aren’t they fixing their own messes? What are the ways people keep smiling, laughing, and loving life while fighting to repair a world that is mentally as well as physically ill, often disgusting, and may very well have a more severe terminal illness than I do? How do folks keep the fun happening in the midst of all the tragedy?
I’ll report back to you from each location, for your entertainment. But if you read anything that seems even more important than entertainment, feel free to use it. There may be some unusual information in these reports that you will find helpful. Don’t worry if people look at you like you’re crazy while you use unusual or unpopular information toward social, or even harmless personal, benefit. Any small move in the direction of saving any part of humanity from falling through its own inconsistencies is a wonderful thing—even if the bulk of humanity itself thinks you and your information are wacky.
The only people who ever change the world are the ones crazy enough to think they can do it. Being “crazy” in the eyes of others often means that you just have a different way of seeing things than they do. That can be a very good thing just as easily as it can be a very bad thing! Sure, Hitler and Idi Amin were crazy. But Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Jesus, and Copernicus were also said to be crazy, by many people who intended the word as an insult. Those critics didn’t realize just how helpful so-called “crazy” can be, if managed with a loving intelligence.
The medicines helped a lot to fix the cancer, but the real reason I am not dead yet is because I am a little crazy. Maybe I can explain that better with this little story I heard from a brilliant Indian mystic. “On a certain day, one cow asked another, ‘So what is your opinion about the Mad Cow Disease?’ The other cow responded, ‘I don’t give a hoot! I am a helicopter’!”
The ancient Chinese mystic Lao Tse put it this way. “There is no fear of tiger’s tooth, no danger from rhino’s horn. There is no place for death to enter.”
Understand? If not, no problem. I’m pretty sure it will make perfect sense to you by the time you finish reading this book.

INTRO to Great New Book!

INTRODUCTION
My name is Tenzin Kharma Trinley. In English that means “The Activity of the Buddha Teaching.”
There are only two reasons that I haven’t killed you or several people just like you yet—Sergeant Pepper and LSD. I grew up as Doug Rose, the lone Jewish maniac in a Sicilian Mafia neighborhood. At fourteen years old I became the only person to ever take Killer Tortoricci’s best punch and not go down, as well as the only person to ever back down a half dozen mafia kids at knifepoint. This earned me enough respect to survive the rest of my childhood, and the nickname “The Crazy Jew.” The neighborhood folks looked at me as an emanation of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the legendary Jewish gangster famous for violent insanity, altruism, and the idea that has since become Las Vegas. I was surely on the road to becoming a contract killer at about the same age that puberty kicked into high gear.
As all this was happening, I was also busily trying to kill myself. In my teens I was brought to a hospital, supposedly already dead from a drug overdose. They gave me a shot of adrenaline in the heart. It didn’t work. One doctor pronounced me dead. Another said no. He gave me another shot. That one worked.
Non-Sicilians on the fringe of the mob never did well in the long run—not in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 60s. Even the organization’s best friends, if not full blood Sicilian, could count on eventually being used as a fall guy to take the rap for a full blood Sicilian “family” member. I was saved from this and many other deadly fates by hallucinogenic drugs and a collection of thirteen songs.
My diet-pill-and-tranquilizer-addled parents listened for years to their unstable child whine about getting a dog. They finally gave in with the promise that in two weeks we would drive from Brooklyn to the Long Island Bide-A-Wee animal shelter and adopt a canine. I had big plans for the animal. Its name would be Assassin. I immediately built a dummy of old clothes stuffed with newspapers. The plan was to teach the animal how to attack and kill humans. I impatiently prepared for the day when Assassin’s training could begin.
As my plans were taking shape, fate kicked the shit out of them. I guess it would be more accurate to say that fate knocked me into a whole new world where plans like mine simply weren’t relevant. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released and I started doing LSD during that two weeks of waiting to adopt the dog that would have become Assassin.
The dog was instead named Sergeant Pepper. She became the gentlest, kindest dog in the neighborhood. She was also a big hit with all the neighbors because in the 1960s, my German Shepherd/Boxer mix was the only female sergeant in existence. She was especially popular with the old folks, who laughed until they near wet themselves at the concept of a female sergeant. They would cross the street through heavy traffic to place a hand near Sargie’s head. She would bump her head up into that hand, begging for petting. Everyone obliged with a short laugh and a long smile.
The dummy I had built for Assassin’s practice was eventually used for a harmless Halloween prank and then destroyed. Well, harmless except for being thrown out of a fourth floor window with a scream, in an attempt to scare the shit out of that pain in the ass, Mr. Perlmutter, as he walked by below. It did. He peed himself.
I have spent the rest of my life as a wannabe do-gooder instead of a short-lived hitman. Long and painful work has been spent in an effort to more completely convert the violent and crazy tendencies into kind and considerate habits.
Now, over five decades later, I have almost completely dissolved the personality of that deranged teenager. It took a lot of cross country travel without ever driving a car, a lot of study without classrooms, and some do-gooder efforts and charity projects to benefit others—often while remaining homeless myself. It also took a consistent faith in no describable thing and a consistent determination to go any place. There was no cell phone full of friends’ numbers and no bank account for backup. This was not always a rewarding modus operandi. Evolution was not a smooth path for me. Mistakes were made. There were several slips, falls, and blatant fuck-ups. There still are some. But they are now a lot fewer and milder than they used to be. The whole process is described in the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense. You can also find out something about it in the About Author/Media section’s TV/radio interviews and newspaper articles at the website.
The best explanation of how I turned myself from a semi-crazed animal into a more or less decent human being is contained within this old Cherokee legend.
A boy asked his grandmother, “Why are some people so good and some people so bad?” The eighty-year-old Cherokee woman answered, “There are two wolves that live inside every person. One is good and one is evil. These two wolves are constantly fighting with each other for possession of the person’s spirit. They may find occasional places to compromise out of necessity, but essentially they are always at war with each other.” The grandson responded, “Which wolf wins, Grandmother?” Grandmother smiled and gently stroked the boy’s face. She powered her gaze right through her grandson’s eyes and into his heart as she answered, “Whichever one you feed, my love. Whichever one you feed.”